Fodor's Expert Review
An easy choice for a top-3 luxury resort in the Riviera Maya, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is one of three hotels inside the exclusive Mayakoba gated community. Everything around here is upscale, top-notch and expensive. Nonetheless, it succeeds in creating a relaxed atmosphere, and the stunning nature around plays an important role on that. If looking for the best, you may just find it.
Recommended Fodor’s Video
Each of the 118 stunning villas at Banyan Tree feature extraordinary fusion design of Asian inspiration with Mayan-culture accents. As a result, guests enjoy an outstanding level of luxury that includes high ceilings, private heated pools, outdoor bathtubs, massage porches with outdoor showers and Jacuzzis, rooftop terraces with breathtaking views of the waterways, the mangrove garden or the Caribbean, and many more unique amenities that place Banyan Tree in a level of its own.
The bathroom sinks are always double and made of famous Talavera pottery, then you have indoor and outdoor rainfall showers, just like bathtubs and Jacuzzis which can be either in the outdoor terrace or in an intimate section of your villa. There are villas that even include a steam bath.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s lobby is an amazing area that covers a huge outdoor section with fancy lounge beds, a large hall with plenty of stylish sofas, the front-desk room which is a delicious piece of design on its own, and a gorgeous pier from where a boat would take guests to their private villas.
Even though each villa has its own private pool, guests of Banyan Tree Mayakoba enjoy access to a couple of pools more. The first one is located at the Sands Beach Club, and it’s a gorgeous beachside infinity pool with comfy loungers and snack bar. Then you have the Reflections pool, which is a larger pool surrounded by manicured gardens, with snack and bar service too.
As expected from a resort of this category the Spa offers a long list of treatments and therapies to be provided in state-of-the-art facilities. A combination of Thai and Balinese wellness traditions is the distinctive feature at Banyan Tree Spa. However, what really puts this Spa in a whole different level, is its world-class hydrothermal section called The Rainforest, which includes exotic features such as an aroma steam chamber, an ice fountain, a Hammam and a vitality pool.
Tip Some treatments (mostly massages) can be provided in the comfort of your own villa. Make sure to ask if the service of your choice is available at your villa.
A well-appointed and fully-equipped fitness center is located in the Banyan Tree Spa’s nearby area. A full-range of treadmills, stationary bikes, and strength equipment are available in a setting that is not the most inspired on in the resort. It’s an ok gym, but nothing impressive.
There are so many options that is hard to single one out. Let’s just say that all restaurants have extraordinary settings and upscale design, and that Thai, Italian, Mexican and Mayan culinary traditions are well-represented. Now, you may choose between having a private dining at your own villa, or embarking on a romantic boat trip along the water canals while enjoying delicious dishes of Mexican and Thai origin. If I could only choose one, I would pick Haab, a Mayan gastronomic trip set in the middle of the jungle.
You Should Know Some of these services are provided only upon request and they have limited availability.
La Copa is an exquisite rooftop lounge, perfect for a romantic evening. La Cava offers private wine tastings in a sophisticated cellar. But what you can’t miss, is the Tequila Tastings, where guests are introduced to the amazing world of Mexico’s most famous spirits: tequila and mezcal.
Outside the Mayakoba gated community there is not much to do or see, so you will need to move by taxi or rent a car. Same goes for your transport from and to Cancun International Airport which is a 40-minute drive away. Booking in advance a private transfer service is also an option for the airport.
La Cueva del Chango (24-minute drive) is an excellent choice to try traditional Mexican cuisine in an exotic tropical setting. Imprevist (26-minute drive) is a sophisticated restaurant which can be an interesting option for breakfast.
For an outstanding view and chic cocktails. Deck 5 Pool and Skybar (28-minute drive) is an intriguing choice. Coco Bongo (26-minute drive) is the most famous nightclub in Playa, it won’t disappoint.